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    The floodwater which have devastated Punjab Province are threatening the Province of Sind. According to?

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    The floodwater which have devastated Punjab Province are threatening the Province of Sind. According to the Pakistan Finance Minister Dr. Mubashir Hasan, the floods are the worst in the country's history -- eight million people have been affected, and more than a thousand may have died.

    Damage has been extensive; it's believed ten thousand villages, forty thousand hamlets and a million houses are under water. Five million acres (200,000 hectares) of crops have been damaged; officials estimate a third of the exports of cotton and rice have been lost, as well as a million tons of grain in storage. Dr. Hassan puts the loss of crops at one hundred million pounds sterling ($250 million). Thirty thousand cattle have drowned. Roads, canals, railway lines and bridges have been badly damaged.

    There was little warning of the floods. Heavy rain had swelled the rivers Chenab, Ravi, Jhelum and Sutlej. These burst their banks, and covered some 20,000 square miles, (50,000 sq. kms.). The waters are being funnelled into the river Indus which runs the length of Sind Province. The volume of water pouring through the point where the four rivers meet before joining the Indus has been measured as being over 770,000 cubic feet per second (22,500 cubic metres) -- and is still rising.

    As for rescue operations to help the stranded, many clustered in small groups on patches of high ground: helicopters have been dropping food, in small plastic bags. Continuing rain and the extent of the floods have been hampering the work. At least six rescue boats are reported to have capsized; more than a hundred people are believed to have drowned.

    Dr. Hasan, who's also chairman of the National Flood Relief Coordinating Committee, has appealed for urgent international aid. He wants boats, helicopters and medicine, and also heavy construction equipment to rebuild canals and embankments. He has blamed India for much of the damage caused by two of the river which rise inside India. He said the embankment India had built along the Ravi had diverted the overflow into Pakistan. He said India hadn't given Pakistan any warning of the approaching floods.

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